Cupertino, Calif. – Kleer’s wireless-audio technology
has grown beyond its initial application as a short-range cable-replacement
technology for low-power portable devices into a technology that can be used
for multi-room audio and home-theater audio applications.
The fabless semiconductor maker will demonstrate the upgraded
technology at International CES with multiple reference designs and some of the
first consumer products incorporating its next-generation KLR3012 version 1.9
audio module. The company expects multiple companies to announce products
incorporating its technology during CES or soon after.
The 2.4GHz-band technology transmits uncompressed 16-bit, 44.1kHz
digital PCM over the air to deliver lossless CD quality sound.
To enable multi-room-audio and home theater applications, Kleer:
–extended wireless line-of-site range to 100 meters, up from 20
meters, allowing for whole-house coverage through walls and floors.
–reduced audio latency to less than 25 milliseconds from 45
milliseconds to improve audio synchronization with video content in a home
theater and, in multi-room applications, provide synchronization from room to
room. Latency between left and right stereo speakers is down to 80 microseconds
to prevent stereo imaging from deteriorating, the company said.
–accelerated the speed of dynamic, intelligent channel switching
to avoid interference with 2.4GHz-band Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks. The
technology monitors the 2.4GHz band for interference and, if it senses
interference on a Kleer channel is use, it automatically switches to a clear
channel in 800 microseconds, down from 4.8 milliseconds, for a 6:1 reduction.
The accelerated switching time requires little buffering that would other
increase latency, said cofounder/chief technical officer Ralph Mason.
— added such multi-room-audio features as centralized RF remote
control of multiple audio sources and multiple playback devices, including
wireless speakers, placed around the house. The upgrade also adds wireless
metadata streaming to enable remote song selection by artist, title and album.
First-generation technology enabled control of an MP3 player’s track, volume
and playlist from headphones or, in the case of a bicycle speaker, from the
Some of the new features have already been incorporated in
existing Kleer-equipped consumer products as firmware upgrades to Kleer’s
existing audio modules. The latest version retains the low-power-consumption
feature of the original version for use in battery-operated portables. All
products equipped with Kleer technology are interoperable, the company added.
At its Las Vegas Hilton suite, the company will demonstrate
multiple products incorporating the new and earlier versions of its technology.
Products incorporating the upgrades include Sennhesier headphones and an Ion
Audio tabletop powered speaker system, which reproduces music from an iPod or
iPhone equipped with a Kleer-embedded dongle. The speakers and dongle will ship
soon after CES, Kleer said.
Using its latest technology, Kleer will also demonstrate a
reference-design USB adapter for
PCs and reference-design surround speakers. A reference-design iPhone app will
enable an iPhone or iPod Touch to select Kleer-equipped devices to stream music
The first products incorporating Kleer’s original technology hit
the market in late 2007, when Global Icons shipped the Cy-Fi battery-powered bicycle
speaker, which wirelessly receives music from an iPod. The speaker had built in
controls so the user can change the track, volume and playlist settings of his
Sennhesier headphones and an RCA MP3 player followed in 2008.